By Sarah Balke
“Spring is here and warmer weather is on the horizon.” These are welcome words to this Wisconsin native who really can’t wait to leave windows open without freezing! Plants are beginning to emerge from their wintery resting place, wildlife is returning to the lakes and ponds as the ice melts, and the grass is getting greener with every sprinkle of rain.
Let’s face it, spring cleaning is weird this year. I’m pretty sure most houses have never been as clean and disinfected as they are today. Of course, there are always a few springtime cleaning projects such as power washing a patio or washing outdoor windows and screens that may still be on your list of things to do. With so much extra time at home, it is a really good time to complete some of the DIY projects you’ve been putting off. Here are some ideas to spruce up your home and tips to help keep you safe.
- Give your walls a fresh coat of paint: Spring is the perfect time of year to freshen up your walls with a coat of paint. Make sure to open the windows for extra ventilation while you are painting. If you don’t like the smell of paint, try using a scented paint additive. There are some great options from Glade, Paint SCENTsations, or you can add a drop of your favorite essential oil. If you are concerned about voiding the warranty provided by the paint manufacture, make sure to read the fine print before adding anything to your paint.
- Build a raised garden: Growing your own vegetables and herbs is a great way to provide a colorful and healthy meal! Having a raised garden will help reduce the amount of weeding and bending required to keep a healthy garden. Here is one option for a beautiful raised garden however, there are many DIY videos available online. When you do need to weed your garden, consider using a stool and always bend at the knees. This will help reduce lower back pain caused from bending over for long periods of time. If you do find your back is a bit achy after an afternoon in the garden, use an ice pack over the area for 20 minutes 3-4 times a day.
- Build a container garden: If you don’t have a lot of space for a raised garden, consider building a container garden. There are tons of ideas on Pinterest and this article from The Spruce had some great tips for getting started. This is a great way to add some color to the front of your home!
- Organize your garage or basement: Adding shelves, pegboard, and storage solutions are all great ways to get your garage or basement ready for summer. Before you throw out the entire drawer of screws, bolts, nails, and other fasteners, sort them into various jars. Attach the lid under a shelf with two screws then screw the jar into the lid. It is easy to see what you’ve got and keeps things organized.
- Clean, sand, and paint your deck or fence: If you have a wooden deck or fence, there’s no doubt that you are aware of the regular maintenance they require. Now that the weather is getting warmer, take the time to wash, sand, and repaint your deck or fence so it's in better shape by the time you are able to enjoy a backyard BBQ with neighbors. It'll give you a good excuse to get some fresh air at a time when you may be going stir-crazy indoors.
No matter what DIY project is next on your list, always make sure to follow all safety guidelines. There is no need to sacrifice fashion for safety, so keep the flowing shirts and fashion shorts put away and don the safety glasses and jeans. If you are doing heavy lifting, consider an industrial back support, and always remember to lift with your legs. Most importantly, know when it’s time to ask for help from a professional. If your job includes electrical or plumbing work, consider hiring someone with experience to complete that part of the project unless you are 100% certain you know what you are doing.